Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. Today’s list is broken up into several segments, ranging from best, average, to mediocre. So whether you’re looking for the best games of quality or are simply looking for the latest free-to-play gacha titles, you’re covered. This week I have the latest Final Fantasy pixel remaster from Square Enix, a fresh board game adaptation of Axis & Allies 1942, and a slick pixel-based auto-runner. So without further ado, here are the new and notable Android games released during the last week.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Titles that offer fair pricing, enjoyable gameplay, polished interfaces, or are intriguing
Strategy Board Game – Axis & Allies 1942 Online
You might not be familiar with Axis & Allies 1942, but it’s a reasonably popular board game in Europe, somewhat similar to the board game Risk that’s popular in the US. This is a tablet game, so phones are out of the picture, though Chromebooks are also supported. Essentially, a big screen is what’s required. After all, this is a strategy game where you’ll compete to conquer the world, so there are many mechanics at play that require enough room to display the host of options they offer. A tutorial is included, and since the online play is asynchronous, there’s no rush to taking your turn, which means you can play with friends casually over many days.
Monetization: $9.99 / no ads / no IAPs
Blon is an auto-runner, but seeing that you control your jump to avoid obstacles, it’s an auto-running platformer. The art is 2D, pixel-based, and it looks great. You can try the game for free, and if you like what you see, you can unlock the full title for $4.49 through an in-app purchase. There are seven biomes to explore, several bosses to beat, and an adjustable difficulty that ensures the gameplay won’t grow stale. All around, a solid release from Plug n Digital, so make sure you don’t miss out.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs $4.49 apiece
The Sun: Key of Heaven
The Sun: Key of Heaven is the latest shooter from AGaming+, and it’s a mix of survival gameplay and typical first-person shooting action. The graphics are excellent, though performance could still use some work. Gameplay can feel laggy, plus there are bugs present along with misspelled words. All around, this is a title that could use some more polish, but since it’s a new release from a dev known to support its titles, I’m sure fixes are incoming. At the very least, a demo is in the works, so soon enough, you’ll be able to check out The Sun without going out of pocket.
Monetization: $0.99 / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $21.99
Car Drift: Racing History
Car Drift: Racing History is an enjoyable auto-runner, where you’ll race cars while drifting your way to victory. Yes, this is a casual game, and yes, it’s best played in short burst. But the game is fairly monetized, and there’s fun to be had as you race around. You can tune your cars as you advance, and the low poly graphics mean just about anyone can run the game with ease. So if you’re looking for a fun little racing game to pass the time, Car Drift: Racing History is a solid option this week.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $2.49 – $4.99
The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia
The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia is a strategy game that revolves around kingdom building and large-scale combat. Amazingly this is not a free-to-play game; it’s a premium release absent of in-app purchases and advertisements. Keep in mind, this is a challenging game, and it will take some familiarity with the title to really get going, but if you’re a fan of games that offer tons of depth, there’s actually a lot to like here despite the lackluster tutorial.
Monetization: $4.99 / no ads / no IAPs
Breacher Story 2
Breacher Story 2 is an early access release, and it’s the follow-up to the original Breacher Story, a narrative experience that basically plays like a texting game. BS 2 offers similar gameplay, delving further into a world of conspiracy theories and social engineering. As far as text-based games go, the story here is pretty good, and since this is an early access release, the real-time sequences found in the original have been tweaked in the sequel for easier testing, though players should expect this convenience to revert once the game is officially out.
Monetization: $2.99 / no ads / no IAPs
If you were a big fan of TapTap Revolution, then you’ll probably want to check out this new rhythm game melod. The design is clean, and the gameplay is solid even though it’s still a little buggy, with double notes not always registering. You’ll start off with an hour of free content, and as you play, you’ll earn stars that are useful for unlocking new songs. It would also seem the developer recently removed a subscription fee, which is great to see. All in all, this is one of the cheaper rhythm games out there, and while the music is all indie content, there’s still some fun to be had despite a few bugs.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $19.99
Ski Safari-10th anniversary
Ski Safari is a re-release of an old mobile game to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. This is an auto-runner, similar to Alto’s Odyssey, and it’s free-to-play with optional in-app purchases. If you were a fan of the original, then you’ll definitely enjoy this release too. So if you’re big into auto runners or simply never played Ski Safari back when it was popular, now’s your chance to check out this classic.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $19.99
Red Ball Egg
Red Ball Egg comes from HeroCraft, and even though the screenshots of the game look dated and unimpressive, the art will grow on you once you see them in motion. Slingshotting an egg around each stage is the name of the game, which is easy for anyone to pick up yet challenging enough to keep people playing. This is an enjoyable platformer, and the included in-app purchases aren’t that bad. All in all, Red Ball Egg is a solid release that offers seven long levels to play through with 20 egg skins to collect, which should keep people busy for a good while.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $9.49
Titles that may not be the best-of-the-best, but still offer fun and interesting mechanics
FINAL FANTASY IV
Android Police coverage: The Final Fantasy IV pixel remaster lands on Android, but it will cost you
Final Fantasy IV is the latest pixel remaster from Square Enix, and just like the rest, it’s overpriced and missing controller support. Sure, there’s a new auto-battle mode to alleviate the grind, and the UI has been touched up for HD devices, but the font stinks, and the game retails for $18, which is simply too much for a 30-year-old JRPG. Then there’s Square’s lack of support on mobile to consider, where the company often leaves games to languish with no updates for years at a time, to the point Square has left fully broken games for sale on the Play Store for months on end. So if history is a judge, Square can’t be trusted to maintain this game, which is really worrying when it’s so expensive. Still, this is the first time FF IV has been available as a pixel-based title in quite some time, so if you’re fine ignoring a few significant caveats, then there is still a fun game here to enjoy.
Monetization: $17.99 / no ads / no IAPs
Pandemia: Virus Outbreak FREE
Pandemia: Virus Outbreak FREE is an early access release, and as you can guess, this is a game that revolves around a deadly virus you’re tasked with stopping. You’ll place cards on the board to manage the outbreak, and even though the trailer doesn’t make the mechanics of the gameplay obvious, things will start to click once you jump in. All in all, it’s an enjoyable game that offers a contrived story and enjoyable block-based puzzle gameplay. You can try it for free, and if you like what you see, you can remove the title’s ads through a single in-app purchase.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $1.49 apiece
Shootin Star is a simple jumping game, but instead of tapping a button to jump, you’ll tap on a different section of the screen to jump in specific directions. It’s an unintuitive control method that doesn’t feel very good in action, making the game much more complicated than it should be. Still, the simplistic graphics are pleasant, and the game is pretty cheap, so there’s no actual harm in taking a look if you’re big into casual jumping games.
Monetization: $0.99 / no ads / no IAPs
Bathyscat is another simple release this week that works a lot like a jumping game, though this activity takes place underwater, so I guess your upward advancement should be called swimming. The goal, to collect as much in-game currency as possible, which you’ll use to unlock new characters to swim as. As I said, this is a simple game, but it’s fine enough for killing time, though it sure would be nice if the developer added a way for us to pay to remove the game’s advertisements.
Monetization: free / contains ads / no IAPs
Titles that are buggy, unpolished, or offer aggressive monetization
Puzzle Adventure: Solve Mystery 3D Logic Riddles
Puzzle Adventure: Solve Mystery 3D Logic Riddles may be an extremely generic name, but at least the game offers gameplay that can be fun. This is a puzzler that offers many different problems, somewhat similar to Sokoban but a little more involved. Most of the time, you’ll move the provided game pieces on the board to solve each puzzle, which is much easier said than done. Sadly the game’s in-app purchases are up there, and since there is a base-building mechanic, it all boils down to the same junk you’d find in most free-to-play games, where grinding is the norm unless you open your wallet. In the end, the game feels improperly balanced once you beat a few levels, which makes it difficult to recommend despite the pleasant art.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $5.49 – $47.99
Starlit Kart Racing
Starlit Kart Racing is indeed a kart racing game, but it is free-to-play, which means it contains in-app purchases even though they are hardly necessary for a kart racing game. This means you’ll be limited in how much you can race, thanks to a stamina system to push people towards the game’s IAPs. In other words, Starlit Kart Racing was created to suck up money, not to offer fun. Sure, racing a few short races is enjoyable, but balancing feels off, and a limited playtime means you can’t enjoy the game for long if you’re playing for free.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $49.99
If you couldn’t tell by the name, World Flipper is a pinball game, but it’s also an action RPG. You’ll attack your enemies by firing a ball at them, mimicking the gameplay of a pinball table as you trounce your foes. Of course, this is a free-to-play release, and so this is also a gacha game that contains many in-app purchases, but at least each character offers a unique story, which should keep players busy as they grind or pay to unlock all the waifus they can. So yes, the pinball gameplay can be fun, but it quickly falls victim to the poor balancing of every other free-to-play game.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $79.99
Knight’s Edge is a PvPvE game where you’ll compete against other players in a race to take down each stage’s baddies. So, in essence, this is a co-op game where you compete for a high score. Sadly nobody is playing the game since it’s new, and so you’ll only play with AI unless you bring a friend along, and the AI stinks. The monetization also stinks, and so you’ll wind up in a loop chasing your own tail as you try to progress but get nowhere. The game is designed this way to push people into paying, which is a big no-no in my book.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99
Doomsday of Dead
Doomsday of Dead is a standard gacha survival game built around sucking up money instead of providing fun. No skill is needed. Simply pay once you hit the numerous grind walls. A boring cash grab is how one user described the game, and I have to say I agree. It plays as an isometric shooter, but really this is more an idle game that does everything for you on auto, with tons of annoying alerts and buttons cluttering the screen. Nothing we haven’t seen a million times before.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99
Girl Cafe Gun
Girl Cafe Gun is a gacha game that contains a bunch of anime girls to collect. The gameplay, if you can call it that, revolves around isometric shooting action. Though it’s not like skill is required, all you need is a fat wallet or time to waste for the grind, which really sums up the gameplay. A pointless experience with paywalls galore. In total, Girl Cafe Gun is a snooze, but the graphics are excellent, which is clearly the draw of this release.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99
Battleship Apollo is a space-based strategy game that might not offer the best graphics, but it does offer deep gameplay. You can choose to go it solo, or take your skills to the net through online play in massively multiplayer arenas. Like any good strategy game, this title offers enough content that will last you for years, which means you can continue upgrading your ships endlessly. Sadly the monetization isn’t the best, so whether this is a game worth investing time in depends on how well you can ignore the grind that results from not paying. As is, Battleship Apollo is blatantly a pay-to-win game, so you will have to contend with that if you choose to play.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $2.99 – $99.99
SpongeBob’s Idle Adventures
It’s a rare day when I cover an idle game, thanks to the fact they are a dime a dozen and mostly play the same, especially since player interaction is rarely a prerequisite. Still, Spongebob is a force to be reckoned with. Sure, the story stinks, there’s barely any gameplay, and the title’s stuffed with in-app purchases despite the E for everyone rating, but in the end, all anyone will care about is that Spongebob stars in the title. Frankly, Kongregate should be ashamed of taking advantage of children through games like this. And if you think I’m kidding, just check out the IAPs below, and you’ll immediately see what I mean. It’s sickening.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $199.99
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